LA BELLE EPOQUE
French Hotel Barge LA BELLE EPOQUE
Canal de Bourgogne - Burgundy, France
GUIDED WALKING TOUR CRUISE ITINERARY
Venarey-les-Laumes to Tanlay
Sunday, Day 1 - Venarey-les-Laume
Guests are met at the designated meeting point (Paris) and transferred to the hotel barge, moored in Venarey-les-Laumes, in a private air-conditioned minibus. A full crew welcome aboard with champagne and canapés during which we hear about the week’s itinerary, its walks and its activities. After time to settle into your cabin we gather for our welcome dinner on board - a wonderful introduction to Burgundy’s excellent cuisine.
Monday, Day 2 - Venarey-les-Laume to Montbard
After a short cruise, we climb out of the valley and our walk takes us past fields of Charolais cattle and through the hamlet of Benoisey. En route we have the best views of the week with stunning vistas across the valley of the Brenne and the Canal du Bourgogne before reaching Grignan where we descend to meet the barge for lunch. We next visit the fascinating walled hilltop village of Flavigny sur Ozerain, where the film Chocolat was made. On the way from the summit of Mount Auxois, we take a look at Alesia, the site of the final battle between the Gauls and Romans that took place in 52 BC. Our afternoon ends in the medieval fortified town of Semur en Auxois.
Tuesday, Day 3 - Montbard to Ravieres
Our walk takes us across the ancient town of Montbard, passing by the castle of Monsieur Buffon, the famous 18th century naturalist, to enjoy the beauty of the forest before a guided tour of the exquisite World Heritage Unesco site of Abbey de Fontenay. Founded by St Bernard in 1118, it is a wonderful example of early Cistercian architecture and virtually intact. With its peaceful gardens and ponds and fascinating cloisters, dormitories and scriptorium, Fontenay gives an exceptional glimpse of Cistercian life and industry. We have our lunch back on board the barge as we continue our cruise. In the late afternoon, we take another walk through a medley of woodland, rolling fields, forests to an eerie, ruined castle perched on a hilltop.
Wednesday, Day 4 - Ravieres to Ancy-le-Franc
We have a morning visit to Noyers sur Serein, listed as one of the most beautiful villages in France, giving us chance to admire the local produce, colors and delights of the wonderful market. We are then guided around the medieval streets and ramparts before returning to the barge. After lunch on board, we either enjoy a lazy cruise gently up to Ancy le Franc or walk most of the way there by a circuitous route through the Burgundian countryside, passing by the ancient village of Chassignelles where we visit XII century fortified church. We walk to our barge for dinner. If the afternoon weather is not favorable, we may choose to visit the Castle of Ancy le Franc instead.
Thursday, Day 5 - Ancy-le-Franc to Lezinnes
We start with a lazy morning cruise, after which we can either walk or cycle as this morning’s route takes us through ancient villages and along the pretty towpath. We rejoin the boat for our lunch at the Lezinnes mooring. In the afternoon, we transfer to the Chablis wine region to enjoy a private wine-tasting in one of the local vineyards and to wander around the charming little town of Chablis.
Friday, Day 6 - Lezinnes to Tanlay
After our breakfast, we can enjoy a lazy morning cruise towards Tanlay or there is the option to take a walk along the A morning walk through forests and slopes covered with vineyards which are ablaze with gold, yellow and orange autumn colors towards Tonnerre, nestled in a loop in the river. After lunch on board we visit the 16th Century Renaissance-style Chateau de Tanlay for a guided tour of this beautiful castle. Afterwards, our walk takes us through very pastoral and woody landscape to the ruined Abbey of Quincy before we transfer back to the barge for our Farewell Dinner.
Saturday, Day 7 - Tanlay
Disembark after breakfast and transfer to the designated drop off point (Paris).
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